23 July, 2006

Thomas Cromwell beheaded on Tower Hill. 23rd July, 1540.

History.net has the date of Thomas Cromwell's demise as 23rd July, although most other sources have the 28th. Anyway, he is featured in today's Tudor post .

Thomas Cromwell (portrait by Hans Holbein jr above)began his government service as secretary to Cardinal Wolsey, and following Wolsey's fall from grace, rose rapidly to prominence as one of Henry VIII's key managers.

His key period of influence was the 1530's, but fame could be shortlived during this period....

In 1538 Henry described Cromwell to the French ambassador as "A good household manager, but not fit to meddle in the affairs of kings".

Cromwell probably took the blame for the fact that Henry claimed he was not informed of the poor physical shape of Anne of Cleves before it was too late to stop the marriage (which Cromwell had arranged).

But there were many of Wolsey's old enemies out to get him, and it was probably only a matter of time before he would be out-manouvered.

Good links to find out more are Englishhistory.net, and the BBC History site.

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